#ciderchat with Tom Oliver of Oliver’s Cider and Perry



4/17/2014 6pm PST/9pm EST


Tom Oliver


Once a hop grower, now a cider master, rock and roll tour manager and social media maverick.  Tom Oliver of Oliver’s Cider and Perry agreed to stay up late, and by late I mean 2 am, to guest host Twitter’s weekly #ciderchat on 4/17/2014.

If you are not familliar with Tom Oliver, he is the owner and cider maker of Oliver’s Cider and Perry, an artisian cidery from Herefordshire, England.  Tom has been influential to both English and American cider makers.  Last year Tom collaborated with Virtue Cider from Michigan to produce Redstreak cider.  Did I also mention Tom is a tour manager for rock bands such as The Proclaimers.  The man does it all.

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Zumba and Fitness Anxiety

Zumba classes used to be my weekly stress relief. Zumba, for anyone who may not know, is a dance fitness program. I am not a very coordinated person and it takes awhile for me to pick up routines. With the Zumba, the routines include repetitive steps, which for me, makes it easier to pick-up.

Every Monday night I went to a local Zumba class, had fun dancing, and burned calories. I always left feeling uplifted. Life happened, I took up yoga, and I stopped going to Zumba classes. While I’ve been focused on my running and yoga, I’ve occasionally done Wii Zumba. While the Wii Zumba is a lot of fun, it’s not the same as going to class. I missed the variety in songs, routines, and having an instructor.

The last month or so I’ve been thinking about going back to Zumba classes since I’m currently not going to yoga. I spent some time on the Zumba website to make sure the class that I used to attend was still going at the same time and location.

I was set and yet Monday afternoon I was a ball of nervous energy. I was worried that I would show up and the class wouldn’t be happening. I was nervous I would look silly. This is a class I attended weekly for MONTHS, and I was getting nervous, for no real reason.
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Behind The Label- Wandering Aengus Ciderworks

wandering aengus

This post has been sitting in my draft pile for a while.  It’s a timing thing.  Last autumn Wandering Aengus, the makers of Anthem Ciders, or at least their PA reps, were pouring at Philly’s first Pour The Core cider fest.  Philly is arguably one of the best beer cities but cider is in its infancy.

Though reviewing ciders is always fun, I am sometimes drawn to the labels and story behind the cider makers.  Leprechaun, Naked Flock and Wandering Aengus all make badass labels. I have already featured the first 2 in previous posts so let’s take a look behind Wandering Aengus. Continue reading

#ciderchat with David White of Whitewood Cider



4/10/2014 6pm to 7pm Pacific/9pm to 10pm Eastern

 As you can see from the above title, I chose Whitewood Cider to represent Dave White but that is because I didn’t have enough room to list all of Dave’s organizations.  I recently identified Foggy Ridge’s Diane Flynt as one of the busiest cider producers in the country.  As for Dave, he is not only the co-owner for Whitewood Cider Co. of Washington State but also the President of the North West Cider Association, a pioneer cider blogger (oldtimeydave) and a renowned cider judge.  Oh, and I believe he has another full-time job.  Insane right?

David White

Last Thursday I hosted our first #ciderchat with special guest Diane Flynt of Foggy Ridge Cider.  It was great.  Diane is passionate and represents the true art of cider making.  We had fun and learned quite a bit. We are going to give it another go and this time we will have David White as our special guest.

For more information on Dave’s background see his complete bio here

If you missed last week’s #ciderchat or are new to twitter chats, here is how it works:

 Log into Twitter and type in the hashtag #ciderchat into the search window.  Pour yourself a cider, a Whitewood cider if you have one, and join us as we chat with David.  Learn about cider history, cider making, the cider industry and whatever else David wants to chat about.  Make sure you include #ciderchat in your tweets so we all can follow each other.






Grokker – The FREE Expert Video Network

I have been using myyogaonline.com for the past year or two to help me stay on track with my yoga practice. A few months ago I went to do my favorite morning routine by yoga instructor Siri Peterson, and it was gone. In fact, all of her videos had disappeared.

I fell into the internet rabbit hole trying to see if the video existed somewhere else on the web. Sadly, I was not able to find the video, but I did stumble across Grokker and have been raving about it ever since.

Grokker is an amazing free resource. The website had videos from fitness experts on any topic you could want. Yoga, strength training, pilates, and kick boxing, just to name a few. They also have cooking videos for everyone cuisine and diet.
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#Ciderchat With Diane Flynt Of Foggy Ridge Cider



 April 3, 2014 6pm to 7 pm Eastern Time

I have put this off for quite a while but no more. Allow me to introduce you to the first #ciderchat. I will host our weekly chat and will feature a special guest or special theme each week.

For our first #ciderchat, we will be joined by award-winning cidermaker Diane Flynt of Foggy Ridge Cider.  Foggy Ridge resides in the Blue Ridge mountains in Dugspur, Virginia.  Diane grows over 30 varieties of French and British apples.  Amongst many organizations, Diane is co-organizer of Cider Week Virginia, On the Board of directors of the Virginia Wine Board and constantly spreading the word about the cider industry.


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What Are You Running From?

20130922_114005I hear it all the time. Every time I talk to my dad about running, he, without fail, asks, “Was a car chasing you?” Sometimes he’ll ask if it is a bear, just to spice it up. He’s not the only one. I get this from a lot of people who think running is silly – why run when you can just as easily drive. It’s not a question I ever stopped to think about.

Then one day I was talking to my yoga teacher about my marathon training and he asked me, “What are you running from?” It caught me off guard. It wasn’t thrown off the cuff. I started think about all the reasons I run, and there are a lot of them, but one stands out above the rest.

I’m one of those people who is always on the go. I have trouble sitting still. I go stir crazy in staff meetings. My mind is constantly trying to balance a million thoughts.

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Running Bored

Running has never bothered me. All I’ve needed are some good tunes and an open road. Then I immersed myself in marathon training (I’ll get into all of that another time). Dedication to the training schedule has me running more than I ever have and some added pressure. I ended up hitting a wall.

It’s not that I didn’t necessarily want to run. It became more about procrastination. Everything else was suddenly MUCH more interesting. It was a feeling that crept up on me; a feeling of, “I’ve done this before, I don’t really need to do it again.”

Enter my savior – podcasts.

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Cider Review – Farnum Hill Summer Cider

Farnum Hill Summer DryYes, I have been slacking recently but since I have taken a position with Great Shoals, I truly feel a part of the cider industry even though my cider cyber presence has been lacking.

Don’t bury me yet!  I am still breathing apples and to prove it I have two posts awaiting your approval.  Here is the first.

I want to give a holler out to Merideth Collins on her new position with Bellwether up in NY.  Looks like we both are riding the cider wave. Like we are becoming the Rat Pack of Cider.  Oh hell, let’s call us the “Cider Pack.”   What a good idea for my next post…

I recently reviewed a cider from Farnum Hill.  It was their Extra Dry and what a cider it was.  After visiting their web site and browsing their other available ciders, I noticed they had a summer selection.  I had to have it so I asked Merideth if she would send one over and like a true player, she did.  The weather will be breaking soon so I wanted to get my summer fix out-of-the-way.

I confess, up until the last 2 years I have dedicated most of my time toward craft beer and have seen a lot of changes over the years.  One of the things the brewers have mastered is the art of seasonal releases.  It reminds me of the produce markets.  Local tomatoes and corn in the summer, pumpkins and apples in the fall and citrus in the winter.

Will the cider folks follow the same path?  I hope so and it looks like some already are.  Strawberries and rhubarb are hitting the blend, Pumpkin and  Spices in the fall. But when I found Farnum Hill’s summer, I just knew this would be my first of many summer seasonals to come.

This is what I expect from a summer cider.  A lighter but not weak body.  Approachable but not bashful flavors. Softer tannins and balanced acidity though I wouldn’t mind a more acidic forward cider.  A quick but not premature finish.  And finally a mature carbonation. Not gassy but not still either.  Lets see how Farnum Hill’s Summer fares.

Summer pours with a champagne appearance, tight and rapid bubbles.  This looked and reminded me of a grand finale during a 4th of July fireworks.  A white thin mousse forms and quickly dissipates.

The bouquet lived up to Farnum Hill’s reputation.  A fresh and clean nose with subtle notes of apple skin, green grape and when I concentrated enough I pulled out a bit of coriander. In the end I was surprisingly hit with a bit of booziness.

I admit I spent a ridiculous amount of time whiffing this amazing cider. Like other Farnum Hill’s ciders, the body was full and creamy.  Carbonation was softer than I expected, probably because I took so long smelling the damn thing.  I bet the following pour will be different.

This reminded me of the ciders from Distillery Lane. The acidity is less intense and gives the body more texture and therefore slows the overall drinking experience.  I got citrus  in the middle and back palate. Well actually, it was lemon only.  Tannins are there but not intimidating.  Complexity is enough to remain a badass cider but light enough to drink as a summer quencher. It definitely had those familiar farmhouse qualities.  The finish was clean and crisp, just as I anticipate a summer style to be.

My overall experience:

When I poured a second glass, the acidity and carbonation was more evident and created a perfect balance.  Lemon and farmhouse qualities stole the show.  Farnum Hill’s Summer had that outside warm weather attitude.  The cider was complex enough but did not over stimulate the senses. Left enough room to enjoy the hot heat and BBQ banter.  If it had a voice, it would have tapped the other ciders on the shoulder and said “Step aside fellas, I got this one.”

Cider Review – Farnum Hill Extra Dry

“On Farnum Hill, we stick to the true meaning of the word “cider:” an alcoholic beverage fermented from particular apples, just as “wine” is fermented from particular grapes.”

This was quoted from Farnum Hill’s website and I couldn’t have said it better. Visit their website, watch their videos and you will understand the importance of true cider apple varieties. Just like a winery selects the ideal grapes, the cider maker utilizes the optimal apple varieties.foxwhelp

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